Scott heads into hibernation after Sony Open

By Doug FergusonJanuary 14, 2014, 1:31 am

HONOLULU – As badly as Adam Scott needs to get away from golf, he was in no rush to leave paradise.

Not long after the Masters champion wrapped up his final round at the Sony Open just 10 minutes away from the shores of Waikiki Beach, he was headed to the Big Island with surf champion Kelly Slater and his crew to take in some surf, sun and maybe even a little golf.

No doubt, Scott is on a wave he wishes could last the rest of his career.

But it's time to take a break, and he can feel it. Whether he goes home to Australia or to the Bahamas, the switch will be turned off. He won't return to competition for six weeks at the Honda Classic.

''There's heaps of work to do, but there's got to be a break somewhere,'' Scott said. ''I could keep playing. I feel like I'm playing well. But you can't continue to perform at the level you want if you play all the time. I'm forcing myself to take a break, and I can see it's coming. My brain didn't completely switch on these two weeks.''

The rest of his game appeared to be in order.

A pair of par 5s on two islands kept him from serious contention. At the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, it was a long iron he smothered into a hazard on the 15th hole in the third round that turned a sure birdie into a bogey. At the Sony Open, he had 155 yards for his second shot to the par-5 ninth in the third round and made par. Both killed his momentum.

He still had a pair of top 10s in Hawaii.

The six-week break is the longest he has had away from competition since the start of last year. That worked out just fine. Scott had the moment of a lifetime when he won the Masters for his first major, even more meaningful because it was the first green jacket for an Australian. He won a FedEx Cup playoff event. Finally going home for a celebration, he gave the Aussies more reason to cheer when he won twice, was runner-up and won the World Cup team title with Jason Day.

Try finding an encore for that.

''It might be some of the best golf I've ever played over the 12 months,'' Scott said. ''To walk away and trust it will be there when I come back ... I think I've done enough work over the last year or two to leave it for a few weeks.''

The break will last only a few weeks and will include plenty of golf, except that he won't care. Scott's friends love to play golf when he's around, and that's what he'll do.

Scott said he will switch back on about three or four weeks before the Honda Classic.

He doesn't play a lot of tournament golf, which is not to suggest he's idle. The hard work takes place in the Bahamas. Scott is all about the big picture now. Yes, that means the majors. More than that, it's all about the process.

One of the most amazing chapters in his career is how he bounced back from a collapse at Royal Lytham & St. Annes – a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the 2012 British Open, only to make four straight bogeys and lose to Ernie Els. Scott might have been the only one who saw that day as a breakthrough. He played the best golf for 68 holes. He knew, finally, he had the game to win a major.

And then he did.

What's interesting is to hear him say his confidence was just as high toward the end of 2012 (the year he blew a major) as it was at the end of 2013 (the year he became a major champion).

''Lytham was that turning point where the confidence grew from the experience and performance in a major, and I think it's been pretty much the same ever since,'' he said. ''It all accumulates a bit. But that was a real spike in confidence in 2012.''

It was watching a replay of the Masters that reminded him of the real source of satisfaction.

Scott first watched highlights about 10 days after the Masters. He mostly saw the 20-foot putt he made on the 18th green, and the 10-footer on the second playoff hole that made him a major champion.

''What I experienced looking back is that elation of achievement is so short-lived,'' he said. ''But it's longer if you enjoy the whole process. That moment of sheer joy is very short. It didn't carry on for days and days. It's numbed by formalities and all those other things. You've got to enjoy getting there as much as what happened. It was only a few hours, and then Hilton Head started, and there's another tournament. The Masters is in the past and you're looking forward.

''It's incredible that a lifelong dream can be achieved, and it's so short.''

The encore doesn't start at the Honda Classic or the other two events he plays in the Florida swing, but when he gets back to the Bahamas and switches back on.

''You know when you're ready to get back into it because you're willing to put in the hours, and it's not effort,'' he said.

As for the performance? Can he do anything to top the last 12 months, especially that one glorious Sunday in April?

Probably not. And that's OK with him.

''It will be the biggest of my career,'' Scott said. ''I don't know how anything could surpass that as a big moment. But it will be a lot of fun to try. Maybe winning the Slam, all four in a career. Hopefully, it's not all downhill.''

Right now, it's as open as the Pacific horizon.

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.